MELBOURNE, Fla. — The Florida Tech Panthers remained in the thick of the Sunshine State Conference softball pennant race, earning a doubleheader split
with second-ranked Florida Southern Saturday afternoon at Varsity Field. Florida Tech (22-8 overall, 9-3 SSC) won the first game 2-0, while Florida
Southern (30-3, 7-2) won the nightcap 5-1.
With the split, Florida Tech trails first-place teams Florida Southern and Barry (23-6, 7-2) by just one game in the loss column.
In the first game, Megan Hube led off the fourth inning with her conference-leading eighth home run of the season to put the Panthers in front 1-0. Tech
plated an insurance run with two outs in the sixth, as sophomore Dana Buccelli (Melbourne, Fla.) singled in pinch runner Danielle Emhoff (Canton, Conn.).
Sophomore Amber West (Apopka, Fla.) tossed a complete-game, five-hit shutout to earn the victory. West (14-5) struck out six and walked only two. Hard-luck
loser Stacey Bronson (Brandon, Fla.) suffered her first loss of the year, falling to 10-1. Bronson scattered seven hits, striking out nine and allowing no
walks. Senior Kelly Darden (Orlando, Fla.) picked up two hits for the victorious Panthers, while junior Jackie Leppla (Tampa, Fla.) notched two hits in a
In game two, Florida Tech jumped out to an 1-0 lead in the third inning, as senior Courtney Harless (St. Cloud, Fla.) knocked home senior Karen D’Alberto
(Cape Coral, Fla.) with two outs.
The Panthers appeared to have the game in control, but Southern scored five runs by virtue of seven hits in the sixth inning to put the game away. Junior
Leah English (Tallahassee, Fla.) tied the game at 1-1 with an RBI single, while a one-out sacrifice fly by freshman Angela Williams (Lakeland, Fla.)
brought home freshman Natalie Lang (Lakeland, Fla.) with the eventual game-winner.
Junior Megan Brown (Carrollton, Ga.) went the distance and improved to 15-2 for Florida Southern, allowing one run on five hits. She matched Bronson’s
effort in the first game with nine strikeouts and no walks. West (14-6) suffered the loss for the Panthers. Junior Ashley Alpizar (Tampa, Fla.) tallied two
hits for the Moc’s.
Florida Tech will travel to Barry on Monday for the start of a critical three-game SSC series. First pitch for the single game is 7:00 p.m.